This is the third time I’m writing this…. Certainly not a fan of the new blogging app we are using…. However I am loving the new iPad Pro we are using!!
Anyway, it’s raining in Kristiansand – not to be confused with the Kristiansund that we visited on our way north last year. I suppose I shouldn’t complain as we’ve had some wonderful weather since leaving Stavanger 2 days ago. Here’s a pic of a boat we passed on our way out of Stavanger.
Dr F and I awoke early on Saturday so she could catch her flight back to London (alas as a junior doctor she has significantly less annual leave than I do. Before that we had time for breakfast and a wander around the arty side of Stavanger that we had missed in our brief tour the previous evening.
I had a few tasks to achieve before Patrick (Mr T) and Matt (MMB) arrived at noon; getting a gas regulator, gas refills, some fresh food and a bottle of Aquavit. Miraculously, all these were achieved before the guys arrived and we slipped our lines from alongside “On Top”, the Danish boat we had been rafted alongside.
The one remaining task before heading south to Tananger was to get diesel. If you think getting fuel in the sprawling industrial metropolis of Stavanger would be easy, then I’m afraid you’d be wrong. Nothing was available down-town and the first two marinas suggested by the pilot book didn’t have any but finally, having asked a local, we found some outside a little convenience store on a tiny island.
The plan had been to pop around the corner to Tananger and stay there for the night. Tananger is a major oil base and commercial harbour but apparently it still retains some of it’s charm around the local harbour, however as we were chugging along very nicely under engine down the Norwegian coast we decided to push on to a tiny secluded natural harbour about 60 miles further along the coast.
We ran a very short watch system from 10pm until about 4am as we motored along a few milas off the low lying coastline. At these latitudes there were a few hours of darkness, but shortly after sunrise we had a lovely view of the coast with some mist hanging in the fjords.
The approach to Ytre Kalven on Hidra, an island near the south-west corner of Norway, was described as narrow and not easy to see, it certainly lived up to this:
Once inside, the bay opened up and we anchored with the place to ourselves.
After a few hours sleep…
… the obligatory bacon sarnie and a quick unsuccessful attempt at fishing we left and headed east under engine in glorious sunshine.
The next stop was Seloy, another secluded harbour but this time surrounded by white houses. The approach was a little less dramatic, but more picturesque.
There had been talk about dropping the stern anchor and mooring bows to a dock at the southern end of the harbour, however this was not possible as another boat was alongside so we took the easy option of rafting alongside the other boat, had a quick swim and then a walk ashore.
We’d noticed the fishing harbour of Korshavn to our port as we’d arrived so we decided to investigate in the dingy (avec let fishing rod!). Tying up alongside the dinghy dock and drinking cold beers in sun felt like we were in the Caribbean! On the way back to the boat we stopped for a quick spot of fishing and within 2 minutes MMB had landed a cod large enough to feed the three of use. This is how he became known as Matt the Rod, although it was a true team effort; I picked the perfect spot, Mr T advised on the exact rod jiggling technique required to attract the fish and MMB caught it!
We had an early start the following day to cover the 45 miles to Kristiansand. Wind aft of the beam and some rain showers, but at least we managed to use the cruising-chute for some of the journey.
The majority of berths in Kristaiansand Marina were Mediterranean style (bows to with stern slime line), with the only free ones being very exposed to the wind. Luckily we found a spot rafted alongside a gorgeous brand new 45ft X-Yacht and then watched in disbelief as a motor boat squeezed into a spot in front of us that was quite clearly too small for him. After lots of pushing and shoving, he had made his spot big enough. This was the first time I had seen ‘bumper-parking’ in a marina!
Then the rain started.